#82 My Journey to CFO via Sales and Management Consultancy with Manu Gupta, CFO at GridDuck

Manu Gupta started in sales. A finance MBA led him into the world of consultancy. He tells us why this is great experience for a CFO

Manu Gupta has acted as CFO of several high growth businesses including MyDrive Solutions, GridDuck, and Brisk. He shares his unusual journey to his first CFO role and becoming a board advisor. Manu isn’t from a traditional accountancy background. He started his career in sales. A finance-based MBA then took Manu into a career in management consulting. He chose to leave consulting and move to a startup. The startup needed a finance team ahead of a Series A investment. Manu’s job was to create that team.

Manu regards himself as a generalist and really enjoys the variety of challenges the CFO role offers him. We talk about how to become sufficiently rounded to do all the things a generalist CFO needs to do well. We also examine Manu’s skills as a management consultant and understand how he applied those to be a dynamic finance leader.

Manu talks about the attitudes and skills a modern CFO needs to bring to the role. He has much to share. Listen to the full episode to find out more, including passions and lessons learned that come straight from the cricket field! 



00:59 How did you become a CFO?

02:35 From sales to finance

03:35 Manu’s mantra: “I find myself in places I’ve not been before”

04:36 Becoming a well-rounded generalist

05:00 An MBA in finance leads to a career in consultancy

06:10 Opportunity to work in a startup and create a finance team ahead of a Series A fundraise

07:16 Advantages & disadvantages of an accountancy qualification and background

09:22 Leveraging skills learned as a consultant

11:06 What attitudes and skills do modern CFOs need?

11:45 Being a business partner and helping others make decisions

13:36 How to engage with others

16:04 Managing your energy

17:13 Managing situations with customers

20:40 Working with the SLT beyond just finance

22:21 Acting as a non-exec alongside being an operational CFO

25:27 Having an impact

25:51 Ben Stokes – lessons from the cricket field

28:45 What are you passionate about?

31:31 The Godfather and the CFO

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